A Best-in-Network 2018 Finalist
Scottsburg New Tech High School
Teachers: Whittney Shafer & Ashlee Hafer
Course: Political Perspectives
How do we as economic developers of Scott County create a plan in order to interest a company to come to our county?
This course is a year-round mashup of Government, Economics, and English 12. We focus on non-fiction reading comprehension and writing quality while trying to connect projects to the community to create active members of society. Our projects focus on not only authentic products but authentic processes.
This specific project is to meet our standards in Economics on government stabilization of the economy. Our students are always interested in making our community better, and they are always wanting to discuss the issue of vacant lots around the city. Therefore, we based a project on their interests and called it “Project 752” (752 is a popular area code for Scott County). Their role is to act as economic developers and create a business proposal for a specific vacant lot in Scottsburg. This proposal must include the economic impacts state and local government incentives have on economic development in a community. Furthermore, the proposal must include a detailed explanation of how the business would bring social change to the community (i.e. helping veterans, uneducated citizens, etc.). This will be submitted to the Scott County Economic Development Commission for approval. The students must also create a social media campaign in order to catch the attention of the business that they want to come to Scottsburg. Finally, students must create something tangible that will catch the attention of their chosen business, just like many cities are doing to catch the attention of Amazon Headquarters 2.
This project allows students to use real data from the community, analyze it to pinpoint a business that would work for our community, and run an actual campaign targeted specifically at a company. Finally, it does not just have an authentic final product (something that cities are actually doing), but the process itself is authentic in the way it allows students to submit a proposal that businesses submit to cities.
- Business proposals to attract businesses
- Mastery of social media tools and strategies to help drive campaigns
- Meetings with government officials to learn and persuade
“Many of our students said they want to continue with this project, even when it is completed. That is the goal of every project. It is great to hear.”
“There was a real-world aspect to this. There is an adult connection along with collaboration that is making this real. This is all authentic.”
“This has sparked many of the students. Kids are excited to come to class and do this project.”
“I like that this project has students using their community as their laboratory of sorts. I’ve shared this project with my economics/humanities co-teaching pair, and I so appreciate the work you have put together here.”
“My original thought was simply that we would just find a company to “attract” and pretend to get their attention. As the teachers gave us more information, we continued to do more incredible things that surprisingly DID catch the attention of ACTUAL companies that we were personally trying to come in contact and catch attention from. I believe this project was the most eye-opening and the most real-life thing I’ve ever done as a New Tech student; that is coming from someone who spent 4 solid years as one. In this project, we had the opportunity to get out into the community and get their opinions, we learned how strong and positive social media can be for an idea, and we learned exactly how truly easy it is to make a different for the community. This is honestly a project that every senior needs to take part in.”
Projects Spotlights allow a glimpse into the great projects that are taking place in New Tech schools across the country. To learn more about Project-Based Learning or the New Tech Network, please contact us here.